Social Media Marketing

Pros and Cons of Targeted Advertising on Social Networks

With the development and growing popularity of social media, targeted advertising has emerged and is gaining momentum.

Targeted advertising is that is shown to users with certain characteristics (targetings).

Targeted advertising is configured not according to requests, but according to the characteristics of the user himself: gender, age, geography, interests, behavior. Most often, such ads are shown on social networks – Instagram, Facebook. A selected group of people could potentially be interested in the company’s product, even if they do not know about it and have never been interested in it (have not searched on the Internet). Recently, targeted advertising in the Telegram messenger is gaining popularity. So far, there are not as many settings as in social networks.

Key benefits of social media advertising

  1. The ability to advertise a product without a website is convenient for small businesses. You can create a page of your company on social networks, with a description of goods or services, and bring customers to it.
  2. Flexible settings: you can select different target groups according to a wide range of parameters (geography, age, gender, education, interests). As an example, we can look at Their audience is students from all over the world who study at college, university and school and are looking for essay writing services.
  3. The ability to work with each user group separately, and create different ads for different audiences.
  4. Continuous analysis and optimization. It is important to constantly monitor the effectiveness of creatives, the reaction of the audience, test formats and hypotheses, and come up with interesting headlines and visuals. This is a big job.
  5. Use of personal data. Some users do not want to provide companies with personal information and do not give permission for their collection. Hence the less accurate and more expensive target.
  6. Detailed analytics. Advertising customization services provide statistics by which you can understand which ad was the most effective, which audience responded best. This allows you to adjust and continuously improve campaigns.

Why you should use targeted advertising today

Advertising through social networks offers an unprecedented opportunity to any advertiser – rapidly reach their desired user base with minimal effort and investment. With a wealth of knowledge about users, plus access to all the tools required for success, it’s no wonder so many are taking advantage of this powerful medium.

Be sure to create company pages and gather your audience on social networks. Even if it is now at a minimum, tomorrow the situation may change.

Don’t be afraid to experiment! When it seems that you are using all the advertising channels at 100%, you need to look around and conduct a series of experiments – maybe changing the button on the purchase page, replacing the ad in context, or an invented contest for your audience on social networks will bring a huge result and make your Internet advertising is even more effective.

Disadvantages of targeted advertising

  1. Creating a targeted advertising campaign may seem complicated and not intuitive, but this is just the start. You will have to deal with it for a little and all the complexities will disappear in the end;
  2. Advertising campaigns must be kept fresh and engaging to keep potential buyers’ attention alive. Any ads that don’t meet the standards of social networks will either be rejected or blocked, so it is essential they adhere to the requirements!
  3. Jumping into the world of social media advertising can be daunting. With a wide variety of tools and settings specific to each platform, it takes time to understand how they all fit together – but mastering them is well worth the effort!

How much does targeted advertising cost?

There are no specific price tags for advertising. The budget for each campaign depends on the parameters you specify.

Here’s what affects the cost:

  • Your budget. You can set its frame yourself in the advertising account. Often, sites after this action indicate what kind of user coverage will be with the amount entered.
  • Campaign duration. You also choose the time yourself. The ad can even run for several days.
  • Pay per impression (CPM) or pay per click (CPC). Some sites have auctions, based on the results of which the cost per click / impression is set. The bid you set determines whether you win the auction and whether users see your ad.

Advertising platforms also have a spending limit per day. This is a useful feature: it helps to distribute the budget evenly over the entire display period.

Types of targeting

Consider the parameters by which you can segment the audience.

  1. Age and gender. These are the basic parameters that are important to consider so that ads are shown only to potential buyers.
  2. Location. This option allows you to select users who live in a certain area, have recently been there, or visit this place often. For example, some systems allow you to show ads to anyone who is within 500 meters of a certain point – a cafe, a store, a workshop. And so they turn even passers-by into buyers.
  3. Demographics: education, income, marital status and children of a certain age, place of work and position.
  4. User interests: business, shopping, food, family relationships, entertainment, sports, technology. As a rule, each category of interests includes additional subcategories of several levels.
  5. Behavior. You can target people who use certain devices and operating systems, travel, and plan purchases.
  6. Connections. This parameter helps to reach users who interacted with the brand: visited a website or page, were interested in an online event, downloaded an application.
  7. Contextual targeting. Using this parameter, you can show ads for key queries. For example, promoting a home appliance store to users who recently Googled “buy a dishwasher.”

To increase the effectiveness of advertising, you need to combine different targeting options. For example, to show clothes for newborns to married women aged 25-35 who are subscribed to thematic pages for young mothers – here the parameters of gender, age, marital status, interests and behavior are simultaneously applied.

The bottom line

  1. Targeted advertising is a tool that helps a business reach potential buyers quickly.
  2. Unlike contextual advertising, which offers a solution to a specific user request, targeted advertising is based on demographic data, habits, behavior patterns, and perceived demand. So only users who are potentially interested in seeing ads see them.
  3. For audience segmentation and relevant ad display, platforms use personal data that users themselves leave – age, gender, place of residence, preferences.
  4. The effectiveness of the target directly depends on how accurately the goal and task are defined. The main metrics that you need to pay attention to when analyzing the results are cost per click and click through rate, cost per lead, cost per 1000 views, and conversion rate.

Fawad Malik

Fawad Malik Technology geek by heart, blogger by passion, and founder of, He regularly explores ideas and ways how advanced technology helps individuals, brands and businesses survive and thrive in this competitive landscape. He tends to share the latest tech news, trends, and updates with the community built around Nogentech.

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